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Belgium’s love of company cars keeps growing, except in Brussels

08:58 08/09/2022

While the prevalence of company cars in Belgium is overall on the rise, the number of such vehicles in Brussels has decreased by 10.5% since 2019, new figures reveal.

The nationwide average increase was 7%, according to figures from HR service provider Securex, but the capital saw a decline.

The decrease can likely be attributed mostly to Brussels’ evolving mobility plan, which emphasises decreasing car traffic in order to relieve traffic pressure and reduce air pollution.

In Brussels, 22.4% of employees with a permanent contract have a company car, most of them white collar workers.

In Flanders, that figure is 27.3% and in Wallonia it is 20.5%, which represents an increase of 10.9% since the start of 2019.

Brussels and Flanders had a similar number of employees driving company cars back in 2019, with 25% and 24.6%, respectively. The share of employees with a company car in Wallonia, despite the increase since the beginning of 2019, has always remained at a lower level.

Heidi Verlinden of Securex explained that the declining popularity in Brussels is due to “alternative means of transport and shared mobility,” along with “congested arterial roads and car-sharing plans”.

The rise in popularity elsewhere in Belgium reflects the “war for talent” taking place, in which employers are having to compete for fewer workers than there are job openings.

Offering a company car is said to be a recruitment tactic. It can also persuade applicants to take jobs that entail a longer commute.

While company cars remain popular, the types of cars that workers are being given has changed.

The share of company cars with a conventional combustion engine has fallen by 9% since 2019 to 89.1% of the total fleet by mid-2022. This decline was sharpest in Brussels.

Now, the share of hybrid company cars has increased to 8.4% and it is expected that fully electric cars will become even more common once financial incentives for employers who offer them take effect in 2026.

From 2026 onwards, only “zero-emission” company cars will be 100% tax deductible for companies.

The Brussels-Capital Region has the highest number of electric company cars on the road at 3.8% of the total fleet, followed by Flanders (2.5%) and Wallonia (1.6%).

The data comes from a representative sample of nearly 10,000 companies and 40,000 employees from the Belgian private sector. Employees with a contract of limited duration were excluded, as they only represent 0.4% of drivers of a company car.

Written by Helen Lyons